Up is turning their Love Finds You TV movies into a franchise. After the success of Love Finds You In Sugarcreek and Love Finds You In Charge, this Valentine’s Day brings us Love Finds You in Valentine. The films are not sequels per se, but they are all connected by the idea of finding love in a new place, or at least a place that’s new to the characters.
Love Finds You In Valentine stars Michaela McManus as Kennedy Blaine, a woman who inherits a ranch in Valentine, Nebraska. When she visits, the rancher Derek Sterling (Diogo Morgado) helps her reconnect with her family and opens her up to love. Just one year ago I was interviewing Morgado for the CW series The Messenger, in which the former Son of God played The Devil. Messengers didn’t last but Morgado remembered me and we spoke about his new movie, airing Sunday, February 14 on Up.
How do you look back on The Messengers experience?
For me it was a terrific experience. I was great from an actor point of view, especially for this new audience, the American audience knowing me from Jesus. Then from that I go to the extreme opposite of playing The Devil, and now going back to inspirational projects. I love it. Pairing to this, I’m on CSI as well. It’s what an actor should do. I’m a storyteller regardless of what I’m doing.
Did Love Finds You come after The Messengers ended, or would it have worked in the hiatus anyway?
Yes, but we got cancelled so there’s no more show. Looking back, it wasn’t a great project for the network in the outcome, but it was a great project as an actor. It was really great.
Did you learn any farm skills to play this role?
No. I did learn some riding because I used to be scared of horses. There’s a lot of riding, like hard riding horses on this movie. We had a chasing scene. My prep was working with horses as much as I could before the movie. Over there, because it’s a proper ranch, they have horses that are fully trained.
Why were you afraid of horses?
Because when I was 12 I broke my nose on a horse. With my school and my class we were going to a far. Then there was a horse that does this thing. It broke my nose. Everybody laughed at me, so from that point on, I got like horses no more. I actually turned down a couple of projects with horses involved, that’s how bad it was involved.
That’s a serious injury, the power of a kicking horse.
Exactly, exactly. That was when I was 12 so from that moment on, I was just traumatized. With this, it was awesome. I actually had kick ass riding on this movie. It was really cool.
This isn’t your first romantic movie, is it?
It’s not the first but it is the first romantic movie that is inspirational and uplifting, where it’s not just about the love. It’s more about the community and the family. The place you’re raised and your background, and how love can change you for a better person. That perspective is new for me.
Does that sort of message tie in with Son of God?
A little bit. For me, Son of God is more of a historical, biblical project. I think fewer and fewer stories are being made based on those commandments. I think this is an example how you can create a story that will inspire the same thing, but being up to date.
There’ve been more in the last few years fortunately.
I know, I know. I think it’s just an example how people are craving these type of stories.